Saying No to Average Bucks

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

It can be scary to turn down an average buck that comes your way and to hold out for the remarkable trophy. It’s scary to hang out on a limb and wait for something bigger and better.

Scary to separate yourself from the company of average hunters.

However, if you don’t, you will end up just like them. An average hunter.

-Jim

The Thick Stuff

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails


Don’t overlook the thick brush once the ruts starts or you’ll be missing a lot of action. The does will lead the buck into the thick brush. This is not for security, but an attempt to avoid an amorous buck before the time is right. The doe, with her smaller frame, can outmaneuver the heavier buck in the thick brush.
-Jim

The Season’s Over

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Congratulations, you’ve harvested your buck.
What happens when your seasons over?
It’s time to go home.
This is the mindset that has been drilled into us since the first grade. Get your work done and go home.
This is where we draw the line between average hunters and great hunters.
Great hunters now ask the two-part question:
What now? What next?
-Jim

Flight Distance in Deer

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

How close a deer will allow you approach before fleeing is called flight distance. What is the flight distance of whitetail deer?

A deer’s flight distance has a lot to do with the terrain. An undetected deer will often let a hunter pass within a few yards if it. If a deer feels he has been seen he’ll never let you get close. For this reason, a hunter should avoid making eye contact with deer whenever possible.

A whitetail’s flight response to a man on foot in open terrain is about 150 yards. The flight response to a motorized vehicle is about 70 yards. This is because the car or pickup moves at a steady pace without arms swinging. Flight reactions are both learned and a genetic response developed over millions of years in the deer. Motorized vehicles have only been around a little over a hundred years, not nearly enough time for the deer to develop an instinctive response to.

Some hunters prefer comfort and laziness over common sense. The use of ATVs in hunting is a classic example. ATVs have probably saved more big bucks life’s than any other technological improvement to date. They are noisy, smelly, and jerk around a lot. All of which are flight triggers to the deer.

I see way too many people road hunting from ATVs. They’re hoping to get a shot at the buck from the ATV and thus avoid the necessity of either walking around are getting into a stand. While ATVs are a great way to get into a hunting area, they should never be used within a half a mile of were we hope catch a deer.

Good Luck and Good Hunting,
Jim

Responding to Motion

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

The deer see’s motion in order to detect danger.

The deer’s subconscious mind recognizes motion as either malignant or benign before it’s conscious mind can even register what made the movement. It’s an instinctive response.

Some movement sends the deer fleeing instantly while other movements are hardly noticed at all.

Over time the deer become conditioned to certain movements such as: leaves rustling in the wind and doesn’t notice them at all. Likewise, a slight movement in a treestand often doesn’t trigger a flight response in the deer. His mind has become conditioned to not expect danger from above.

A hunter moving through the woods with his un-rhythmatic movements automatically triggers a flight response in the deer.

Good Luck and Good Hunting,
Jim

Deer are Conservatives

Photo courtesy of Apple Creek Whitetails

Deer are extreme conservatives. This is what has allowed them to survive the last 4-1/2 million years. They find even the slightest change to their environment upsetting. If you are watching deer enter a field by the same trail at the same time every day and all of a sudden one day they don’t show up it’s because something has changed in their environment.

It could be something we did wrong or it could be a slight change in their natural environment.

Maybe a coyote cross their path. Or the farmer has moved the tractor. Maybe they saw a two legged human standing on the edge of the field. Perhaps a food source has dried up or a better food source has come available. Something has changed, you can bet on it.

Even the slightest mistake in setting up our stand can prevent us from being successful. Leaving traces of human order is the most common mistake. Other mistakes of commonly make that upset deer include; sky lighting ourselves, cutting too much brush for shooting lanes, not allowing for our approach to the stand to be undetected, and too much movement in the stand.

We need to investigate and try to determine what is the cause of their behavior change. If it is a mistake we have made, we’ll either need to let the stand set for a few days or find another location.

Just remember deer conservatives and avoid making any unnecessary changes to their environment.

Good Luck and Good Hunting,
Jim